We’ve all the seen the long accurate drives of Tiger
Woods. The ball flies through the air and lands in the
middle of the fairway, 300 yards away.
The green-eyed monster of envy consumes us as we
wonder if we could ever hope to drive like that.
Fortunately, long drives are not the be-all-end-all
game of golf.
Enter the short game. Without good short game skills,
all the long drives are for naught.
The short game is those shots that get us onto the
green from about one hundred feet out, be it from the
fairway, a bunker, the rough or a drop zone and
includes chips, sand shots and pitches.
This is where your higher numbered clubs would be
used, as well as your pitching iron, sand wedge or lob
Most golf courses have practice areas as well as a
driving range. Spend some time working on hitting your
ball onto the green from different distances. Aim for
a ten-foot circle in the center of the green at first.
Experiment using your wedges; what works for someone
else, might not work for you and your particular
After you get accustomed to doing this drill
consistently, it’s time to spend some time in a sand
trap. Knowing how to get the ball out of a trap will
cut your score.
Plant your feet firmly into the sand, with your left
foot turned toward the hole. Imagine a 4-inch circle
around the ball and try to hit the edge of the circle
that is away from the ball.
Take lots of sand with your ball and swing completely.
Don’t decelerate at all when or after you hit the
ball. It should pop up onto the green and stop. This
doesn’t work unless the sand is very soft and powdery.
On hard surfaces, you might need to avoid actually
hitting the sand.
As in all aspects of the game, only practice will help
you to improve.